The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


guitar :: Blog

Stories behind the Guitars of Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones

Tuesday, August 20: 12:21 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Picture of Keith Richards' 1959 Gibson ES-355 electric guitar

In 1975, Ronnie Wood replaced Mick Taylor as guitarist for the Rolling Stones. It was another turning point for the band: “Ronnie was damn good glue for the band. He was a breath of fresh air,” said Richards. He and Richards went back to the band’s default rhythmic style, playing together to create the sound of a single intricate guitar. This compositional style had not been played consistently since Brian Jones’ tenure in the band. Wood helped to revitalize the band’s music and spirit, and it proved to be exactly what the Stones needed.

“’Beast of Burden’ is a good example of the two of us twinkling felicitously together,” said Richards. Wood’s slide guitar and pedal steel work made a big impact when recording and also on stage, and the chemistry between Wood and Richards can be heard when listening to Rolling Stones songs such as "It's Only Rock and Roll," "Hey Negrita," "Miss You," "Far Away Eyes" and "Start Me Up." 

These two Rolling Stones video clips go behind the scenes, highlighting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's latest major exhibit Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction, on view through March ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Rolling Stones, Inductee, Hall of Fame

Smashing Design: Building the Rock Hall's Piano

Wednesday, July 17: 11:31 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Testing the "smashed guitar" built into the Rock Hall's piano.

This week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in partnership with Play Me, I'm Yours unveiled a unique piano designed by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit designer John Sloboda. "The represented act of smashing the guitar through the top of the piano is an attempt to catch the 'lightening in a bottle' moment when something happens where there's a little bit of danger mixed with excitement," says Sloboda of the Rock Hall's piano design that features a guitar "smashed" into the top of the piano. "Plus, having the electric guitar with the piano feels a little more rock and roll, and seemed fitting because the Rock Hall sponsored the piece."

Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland International Piano Competition teamed up to present Play Me, I'm Yours, curating an interactive art installation composed of 25 uniquely decorated pianos that will be placed throughout Northeast Ohio, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The idea is to encourage people to meet, connect, communicate and express themselves through the shared experience of musical performance.

Dubbed "Black Magik," the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's piano was inspired by ...


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New Guitars on Exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Tuesday, July 16: 1:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
A unique bass played by Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea is among the newly installed instruments

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s artifact collection represents a diverse group of artists – much like the genre of rock and roll itself. The exhibits chronicle rock and roll history from its earliest days right through the new millennium, and visitors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will find clothing, handwritten lyrics, personal effects and much more. Among the Museum's most treasured pieces are the instruments.

The Museum's collection of rare instruments used in recordings and live performances includes drums, microphones, even flutes and a dulcimer, and the instrument most often associated with rock and roll: the guitar. There are approximately 20 guitars on permanent exhibit in the Museum’s atrium alone, and the instruments are rotated every six months. The guitars focus on Hall of Fame Inductees as well as non-inductee artists – both legendary and contemporary. Today, 10 new guitars that represent Inductees – including Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Cliff, Mike Mills of R.E.M., Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and 2012 inductee, Steve Fossen of Heart – and non-inductees Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello and Mike Dirnt of Green Day were placed on exhibit ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

A Long, Strange Trip: Pete Sears' One-of-a-Kind Bass Guitar, "Dragon"

Monday, July 1: 12:29 p.m.
Posted by Greg Harris
Pete Sears with his long-lost custom bass guitar named "Dragon"

In June 1978, Pete Sears and his Jefferson Starship bandmates narrowly escaped a riot following a cancelled concert in Germany. Amid the chaos, much of the band's gear was left behind, including Sears' one-of-a-kind bass created by famed luthiers Doug Irwin and Tom Lieber – the men responsible for Jerry Garcia's most iconic instruments. Sears never played the guitar live, and he never thought he'd see it again. Thirty-five years later, however, the missing bass has resurfaced. 

While a member of Jefferson Starship in 1976, Sears commissioned Irwin and Lieber (the latter working at the Doug Irwin Custom Shop) to build a custom bass dubbed "Dragon." Grateful Dead fans will recognize the work of both artisans, as they had hands in creating a series of iconic Jerry Garcia guitars, including "Rosebud," "Lighting Bolt" and "Tiger," which were all exhibited as part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Grateful Dead: The Long, Strange Trip exhibit that was on view from April 12, 2012 to March 24, 2013. 

The bass' resemblance to Garcia's famous guitars was no coincidence: the designers used the same piece of wood as Garcia's "Tiger" to build Sears' "Dragon ...


continue Categories: Today in Rock, Exclusive Interviews

Behind the Scenes: "Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction"

Wednesday, May 22: 10 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
An exclusive preview of the Rock Hall's new Rolling Stones exhibit

An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's new exhibit highlighting 50 years of the Rolling Stones. The exhibit, Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction, opens to the public on May 24, 2013, and will span three floors, more than 4,000 square feet and feature hundreds of items -- instruments, clothes, handwritten correspondence, art, photographs and more -- from the Rolling Stones' amazing history as the "World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band."

Watch the video below for a sneak peek at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's new Rolling Stones exhibit.


continue Categories: Gallery Talk, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

War's Lonnie Jordan Talks Music, Playing with Eric Burdon and Jimi Hendrix's Final Performance

Friday, May 10: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Interview with Lonnie Jordan of War (pictured front, center), who performs live on Saturday, May 11

The six founding members of War – the late Papa Dee Allen and Charles Miller, survivors Harold Brown, B.B. Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan and Howard Scott – were gigging around L.A. for nearly a decade before hooking up with Eric Burdon (ex-Animals) and Danish harmonica player Lee Oskar in 1969. Burdon and producer Jerry Goldstein named them War, and they backed it up with a steamy Afro-Latin R&B groove that rocked their debut hit “Spill The Wine.”  Less than two years later, Burdon dropped out and War went their own way in 1971.  A long string of Top 10 pop/R&B crossover hits established War’s status through the Seventies, always with a social message grounded by their distinctively breezy Southern California vibe. In this interview with War founding member Lonnie Jordan, he shares his first memories of playing, how War first connected with Eric Burdon and jamming with Jimi Hendrix during what would be his last public performance. 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: How did you first become interested in playing music?

Lonnie Jordan: As a kid, I used to watch old black-and-white movies. Now keep in mind I'll be 65 this year, so when ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Thursday, April 18: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees exhibit is now open!

On April 18, 2013, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame officially ushers the 2013 class of inductees into the Hall of Fame during the 28th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The class – Lou Adler, Heart, Quincy Jones, Albert King, Randy Newman, Public Enemy, Rush and Donna Summer – are represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland's newest exhibit. In the series of clips below, get a behind the scenes look at the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees exhibit. Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to see the new exhibit!

Lou Adler

Heart

Quincy Jones

Albert King

Randy Newman

Public Enemy

Rush

Donna Summer


continue Categories: Gallery Talk, Inductee, Exhibit, Event

The Rolling Stones on Tour – and Exhibit

Wednesday, April 3: 5 p.m.
Posted by Howard Kramer
The Rolling Stones announce 2013 North American tour dates

Today the Rolling Stones announced their 2013 tour schedule (see below). Between that Rolling Stones news and the work the Curatorial, Exhibitions and Collections staff have been doing to get ready for Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction, a feature exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opening May 24, I've been immersed in the "world's greatest rock and roll band" for several months. Among other things, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit will highlight the Rolling Stones touring during the last half century, years of concerts that have made them one of the best – if not the best – live rock and roll acts in history.

I was lucky to grow up in Detroit, Michigan, at a time when music was everywhere and radio was vibrant and meaningful. That city produced so many extraordinary musicians – Hank Ballard, Jackie Wilson, the MC5, the Stooges, Bob Seger, the entire Motown roster – it’s nearly impossible to comprehend. Detroit gave rise to some of the genre's best. It was there I became captivated by the Rolling Stones. 

Keith Richards acoustic guitar in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Rolling Stone exhibitI first heard the group listening to CKLW, the legendary Canadian AM radio station. Detroit was also ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock
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